Sunday, May 29, 2011

Katie's Chainsaw Therapy



This is courtesy of, and inspired by, Katie of Whisperings of the Pen. Thanks, Katie, for the brilliance. 


When you're stuck, completely and utterly stuck, when you cannot seem to get anywhere in your story no matter how hard you try, no matter how many tears you cry, no matter how much sweat and blood you pour over into your notebooks/word documents...

Think for a moment. 

What would happen if one of your characters suddenly chanced upon a man chopping down the forest wildly with a chainsaw?

Read on if you dare.


Note: This take place, or hypothetically takes place, during a low point in Chance's life. So pardon me if the funny parts are funny (if there are any) and the rest of it is kind of depressing.


Also, it's kinda sorta long, so beware....

*****
Chance and the Man with the Chainsaw

Chance collapsed, his palms planted on the rock to steady himself. He angrily blinked away at the tears that weren't really there. Still angry and frustrated, he slammed his fist on the hard stone a couple times. Ow. The last fews kicks and blows delivered to him by Sir Robert were still sharp, and hurt when he moved. Now his hand was throbbing, too.


It annoyed him that these almost daily beatings upset him so much that he had to escape- he had seen the other squire's show up in the morning with plenty of bruises and injuries too. Knight were not the most loving of beings toward their trainees; but they had grown up in this. He hadn't. Did that make him weak?


Regardless of that, he thought, what could he do about his habit now?


It had, naturally, now become a steady routine to come out here through the postern and sit in the forest for an hour or two before the light faded entirely-- the forest was always the prettiest at sunset, when everything was turned to gold by the sun. It didn't matter whether he had been beaten that day or not, his feet automatically led him out here regardless.

Gazing up at the trees, Chance was suddenly reminded of one day, high up in the top of the Old Tree, when he had fallen asleep once, by accident. It was already about 10 o'clock in the morning, and he awoke to the swaying of Old Tree's wispy upper branches and his father, so far down below, calling his name. "Chance! Wake up, or you'll fall to your death. I'm not climbing up there to get you!"


He remembered giggling at the teasing tone in his father's voice. He was little then.

The sudden recollections raised the unfailing, terrible lump in his throat, and his vision blurred with fresh tears. A sob started to escape...

GRZGHZGZRGZHZHGZRZGGZRGZRZRGZGZRRZGZHOOOOM!!!!!!!

The sudden sound startled Chance out of any feelings of grief. He looked up, wide-eyed (though, his eyes were puffy so it was hard to tell), his glance darting in all directions, the foreign intrusion of noise seeming to come from every direction.

After a moment, it became clear that the noise was loudest over to his left.... and Chance turned slowly, not at all sure what frightfulness awaited him...


It was a wild-eyed man, holding a large, metal object that was shredding every tree it touched to pieces. There were several large crashes coming from behind the lunatic, presumably pervious victims that were falling over in his wake.


The fellow yanked his machinery out of one tree and ran to another, and the one he had just shredded toppled over as he ran to destroy another one.


Chance stood there, eyes wide, one eyebrow cocked and nose wrinkled in bewilderment. I'm afraid he knew not what to make of the Chainsaw Man, because, frankly, he had never seen a chainsaw before, as a matter of fact they hadn't even been invented yet.


Another tree toppled over with a heavy, creaking groan, a gust of wind sending it straight toward Chance. He looked up and yelped, leaping backward. He cleared it just in time, though some of the wildly shaking branches smacked him across his face, stinging like overly large nettles. "Hey!" he barked. He shook his head and cupped his hands around his mouth. "Heeey! You, sir!! Hoy there!"


Chance wasn't sure how long it was before the wild man turned toward him. Upon seeing him, the stranger's eyes widened, and his chainsaw was abruptly turned off.


"What's that you say, there?" He asked, with an accent Chance could not identify, much less understand. We would call it a Brooklyn accent.

Chance swallowed. "Why are you attacking the trees? What's that thing?"

The man gulped and glanced down at his saw. Then he looked around the forest. "Huh? Where am I, sonny?"

Chance gave him a dubious look. "You're in the forest belonging to Sir Morcant. Corbey Keep is right that way."

The man's jaw dropped. "You mean England?"

"Yeah."

"I'm in the Middle Ages?"

"What?"

Ignoring the question, the man glanced back at the trail of destruction he had made, and started trudging back, glancing this way and that as if looking for a trail.

"Pickles was right. You can step through one of those portals without ever realizing it. How to get back, now......." He continued backtracking through his trail of destruction, muttering to himself.

If Chance's eyebrows could have shot up any higher, they did. The man waved his hand around the empty air, apparently feeling for something. Presently, when his hand looked, on the air, that it was touching something solid, he gave a little "whew!" of relief and slid his hand along the invisible thing.

"What are you doing?" asked Chance, mildly irritated.

"Trying to get back to my district, that's what."

Now Chance's entire face furrowed in confusion. District?

"Look, sir, I don't believe--"

"Aha!" The man declared in exultation. Chance noticed that his hand seemed to be plunged into something, and in midair, his hand had disappeared. The man withdrew his hand, and it reappeared.

He fussed with some switches on his saw. "Pleasure to meet you, dude."

Chance opened his mouth to reply, but the man had already turned on his machine and with a loud, buzzing sort of roar from the saw, plunged through the invisible opening. After he and his chainsaw disappeared, the forest was suddenly quieter than it had ever seemed to be before. It was empty, too.

Chance glanced around a few times, called "Sir?" once, in a whisper, then shrugged to himself and turned back toward the Keep. As he neared the postern, he sighed, as a depressing thought stuck him.

What with all these appearing and disappearing people with crazy devices, he was going to have more than his fair share of nightmares. Undoubtedly, he would wake up Sir Robert yet again. Chance rolled his eyes heavenward. And the most recent bruises hadn't even healed yet....

Oh, well. When squirehood was over, he would be more than happy.

*****************

There you have it. My insanity. Hope it didn't scare anybody off.

However, despite it's dubious appearance, researchers have noted the most positive of effects on your writing and brain cell functioning after completely this therapy. It is highly recommended by specialists for Stuck-In-A-Rut writers. 

;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Elves, Romans, and Et. Cetra Notices

 This is a miscellaneous news post, that's all.


  • Peter Jackson confirmed that Orlando Bloom will be returning as Legolas for The Hobbit. To quote Pete: 

"Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas. I'm excited to announce today that we'll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older—and he doesn’t! I guess that's why he makes such a wonderful elf."


Since he isn't in The Hobbit novel, it'll be fun to speculate where he's going to show up.

  • Heroes of Olympus Book Two will be released this October. I don't know how long that piece of information has been floating around, but I just found out today. Very excited! :D
  • Also, if you were one of the winners of EFC's Crochet Giveaway, please shoot her an email with your address so she can get those prizes to you. It's been a week, y'all, and she's going to choose new winners if she doesn't hear from you! 

'Kay, that's all for now folks. I'll be back later. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miriam's Giveaway Contest :)


Miriam over at Dancing with Dragons is Hard on Your Shoes is thanking her readers from the bottomliness of her heart with a completely AWESOME giveaway!!! Click here to check it out! :D

Thanks for the sweet giveaway Miriam. <3

Sunday, May 22, 2011

An Intriguing Article- PluggedIn.Com




"Not so long ago, within a 10-day period, I attended two churches with radically different styles. It was the same degree of difference that distinguishes sushi from pot roast or a fighter jet from a biplane.

In Southern California, the worship was a streamlined rock concert with professional vocalists, electric guitars, drum sets, smoke machines and special effects lighting. When the lead vocalist, er, music minister started tearing it up onstage, I actually wondered if I should have purchased a ticket......

Click the icon below to continue reading.



Connect the Plot- Intro



You may recall a slightly vague post, about a week ago, about link-up called Connect the Plot that I have concocted ;) Well, vagueness aside- here's how it's gonna work:

Just know, this is geared mainly toward screenwriting, but it can easily be converted to novel-format.

As well, Connect the Plot could possibly turn out as more of a fractured fairy tale, or a mad lib or something. But still, it might be helpful for those of you with writer's block, or the need to do something silly. It doesn't have to be silly, if you don't want, though.

Here's the guidelines:

Once a month, I'll post an "opening" image and an "ending" image. If I take the images directly from films then I'll include a screenshot as well.

For instance:

Opening:
Jack Sparrow sword fights with a dude inside a blacksmith's shop.



(I would normally include the "INT. Blacksmith Shop- Day" etc., but this is just an example. For now, anyway....)

And then go to an ending image, tweaked ever so slightly:

Ending:
Now in the Star Wars universe, Jack Sparrow flies his X-Wing, the Black Pearl, and blows up the Death Star.



(Again, I'm excluding the usual technicalities for the sake of brevity.)


Now, now, Abby. You may be saying. How are you supposed to make something like THAT work??

Well, the first thing outta my mouth when EFC said something similar, was:

"Oh, you see, Jack Sparrow went through a portal into the Star Wars universe, because there is a portal connection between ALL fictional stories.... (etc.)."

I thought it was brilliant.

See, before Sparrow gets to SW, he could go through Middle-Earth, Narnia, Maximum Ride, and 100 Cupboards before reaching the ending scene. Or whatever you wanted to do with the story! This is one out of a thousand possibilities. 

And please, please, have fun! The rules are here for you to break them. 

If this made any semblance of sense, please leave a comment telling me so.

Questions and concerns would be appreciated as well. 

**The first Connect the Plot link up will be held next week if all goes to plan.**



There is a free script-writing program called Celtx, which I use. To download the free program, click the link below:


If you need help formatting your script, click either of the below links. The second link is a page of how-to guides on the Script Frenzy site, which you will probably find the most helpful.




Explore YOUR Novel with this Dangerously Monstrous Writer Tag!!

Okay, so I was tagged with this forever and an age ago. But I hadn't been able to finish it for a looooong time.

Like the title suggests, it's a writer's tag. And it's, like, 75 questions long. Egads.

Read on if you dare.

 1. What’s your word count?
*sighs* Um... 51,821. 

2. How long until you finish?
You seriously think I know the answer to that? Soon, please.

3. If you have finished, how long did it take you?
*coughs* 

4. Do you have an outline? 
YES! Yes, yes, and I'm proud of it. Of course, part two of the novel is a little more vague than part one, but I have a general plan, for sure!!

5. Do you have a plot? 
If I don't then shoot me.  

6. How many words do you typically write a day?
I only pretend to care about my word count because everyone else does. But I couldn't care less about word counts, and I don't pay attention to mine. So don't ask- I don't know. 

7. What was your greatest word count in one day?
Ack... somewhere around 6 or 7 thousand, maybe? NaNo.

8. What was your least impressive word count in one day?
Two words, maybe? None, possibly??

9. What inspired you to write?
Dunno. Just was. 
But, reading, of course. I've always loved to tell stories and create. One day I saw an image, I thought up a plot, and I reached for my pen and paper. I became a writer right about then.
But.... *coughcoughcough* Star Wars *coughcoughcough* was also a big influence for my first novel... oddly enough.  


But this story was inspired by.... um, er..... I don't know. It started out as a screenplay..... *headdesk*

10. Does your novel/story have a theme song?
EFC wrote it. (NOT kidding!!)

11. Assign each of your major characters a theme song.
Okay, they each just got a theme song, and I'll have them sing each one later on in the story, maybe as part of the celebration ceremony. Come back later. 

12. Which character is most like you?
Chance, for sure. William is the runner-up, though.

13. Which character would you most likely be friends with?
If I met them randomly at the point they're in in the story right now? Hm....  probably Tully. (Who doesn't quite exist at the moment, sorry man...)

14. Do you have a Gary-Stu or Mary Sue character?
Say what?

15. Who is your favorite character in your novel?
..... er, Chance? William, maybe?? I love William, I love Chance, I think I love Sir Robert..... 

16. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected?
Not really. (OO)

17. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences?
Not.... directly..... 

18. Do you believe in plot bunnies?
*headdesk* I still don't know what those are supposed to be.... *moans*

19. Is there magic in your novel/story?
Nah. Dragon?

20. Are any holidays celebrated in your novel/story?
Maybe. They ain't crucial to the story.

21. Does anyone die?
Heck, yeah.

22. How many cups of coffee/tea have you consumed during your writing experience?
Not enough. 

23. What is the latest you have stayed up writing?
*coughs* All nighter? All nighters.....

24. What is the best line?
Um... I still haven't written it yet. XD

25. What is the worst line?
If you mean line of dialog, and by worst you mean the line that sticks out the most, then probably, "I do not wish to hear a tragic love tale from you, Sir." :P

26. Have you dreamed about your novel/story or its characters?
Nah.

27. Does your novel rely heavily on allegory?
Not necessarily. *vague answer*

28. Summarize your novel/story in under fifteen words.
The grandson of St. George discovers his identity and must face his own dragon.

29. Do you love all your characters?
Pretty much! XD

30. Have you done something sadistic or cruel to your characters specifically to increase your word count?
NO!!! Don't talk to me about the stupid word count!!!

31. What was the last thing your main character ate?
Er..... a knuckle sandwich??

32. Describe your main character in three words.
Burdened. Destined. Champion.

33. What would your antagonist dress up as for Halloween?
He's too dignified too dress up as anything. 

34. Does anyone in your story go to a place of worship?
Mm-hm. 

35. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel/story?
A few. 

36. Are there any explosions in your novel/story?
No..... *sobs* :P

37. Is there an apocalypse in your novel/story?
Nope.

38. Does your novel take place in a post-apocalyptic world?
Nuh uh. 

39. Are there zombies, vampires or werewolves in your novel/story?
If you find any in there by accident, let me know so I can cut them out and throw them in a trash heap.

40. Are there witches, wizards or mythological creatures/figures in your novel/story?
Dragons ARE considered mythological, so yeah....

41. Is anyone reincarnated?
I should hope not.

42. Is anyone physically ailed?
I should hope so. 

43. Is anyone mentally ill?
*sighs* Only the writer. 

44. Does anyone have swine flu?
*shakes head*

45. Who has pets in your novel and what are they?
People have dogs. But they aren't important. 

46. Are there angels, demons, or any religious references/figures in your novel/story?
Indeed. 

47. How about political figures? 
Kings, lords, the like. 

48. Is there incessant drinking?
Not incessant, anyway....

49. Are there board games? If so, which ones?
Um... chess? Probably.

50. Are there any dream sequences?
Mm-hm.

51. Is there humor?
I try......

52. Is there tragedy?
Absolutely. 

53. Does anyone have a temper tantrum?
I should write one in! Good idea, tag!

54. How many characters end up single at the end of your novel/story?
Possibly my antagonist's wife. Possibly....

55. Is anyone in your novel/story adopted?
Yes. No. Kind of.

56. Does anyone in your novel/story wear glasses?
Not invented yet.

57. Has your novel/story provided insight about your life?
Not really..... 

58. Your personality?
A tad.

59. Has your novel/story inspired anyone?
Dunno. I hope so. 

60. How many people have asked to read your novel/story?
A few. (I love you guys! Thanks for asking to read my blabberings.)

61. Have you drawn any of your characters?
Yes!!! I drew Chance! :D  It wasn't easy... took me forever. (Tell me in the comments if you want me to post the picture later!) 

62. Has anyone drawn your characters for you?
NOOOOO!!!!!!

63. Does anyone vomit in your novel/story?
Oohh.... if they haven't, they should! *chuckles evilly*

64. Does anyone bleed in your novel/story?
Duhr. 

65. Do any of your characters watch TV?
Not invented yet.  

66. What size shoe does your main character wear?
Too big. Oops, sorry Chance...... dude, your feet are fine!! No, stop.... *runs off to shut Chance up*

67. Do any of the characters in your novel/story use a computer?
Not invented yet. 

68. How would you react if your novel/story was erased entirely?
I would be grateful for the printed copy sitting by my bed. 

69. Did you cry at killing off any of your characters?
Yes.  *sobs* I'm sorry, William.....

70. Did you cheer when killing off one of your characters?
*gasp* No! Never. Absolutely never. 

71. What advice would you give to a fellow writer?
Read the type of books you want your book to be like, if there are any.... if not, just read books, period. Write. Don't take anything too seriously.

72. Describe your ending in three words.
Epic. I hope. 

73. Are there any love triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.?
Nah, not really. 

74. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least stressful, 10 being the most) how does your stress rank?
Either off the chart at a 245897468793, or about a 3. The novel's on the shelf, but I'm getting ready to face the beast again...

75. Was it worth it?
Check back next time, and you'll find out.



Well, if you're still reading then you deserve a chocolate. Or a milkshake. Or a smoothie. Or popcorn. At any rate, something yummy and awesome. 


Thanks for bearing with me. 


I tag anyone who wishes to be tagged.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beautiful People- May/June Edition



If you aren't already familiar, Beautiful People is a writing meme by Georgianna Penn and Sky, which asks questions about your character that you answer. If you're a writer, I highly encourage you to join! :D


Question for Georgie and/or Sky: can I do some of my screenplay characters as well? I'm running out of novel people..... comment and let me know or something ;)






Person of the Month: my hermit/monk character who never really made it onto the page, sorry buddy: Tuathal Gruffudd; Tully for shorts. Welsh on his father's side, Irish on the mother's. Hence the name....


Anyway, here we go!



1. What type of laugh does he have?
He's got a pretty throaty laugh, mostly a chuckle in the back of throat, but it doesn't sound like an old-guy kind of laugh. No offense to old guys. Anyway, Tully's barely 40, if at all....


2. Who is his best friend?
God. He's the only one he spends any time with these days.

3. What is his family like?
Before he became a knight and left his isle, before he became a monk/hermit, he lived in a very loud, large, happy family. His father came from the Cymru area and ended up in Ireland (could I say Erin??), so it was mostly his mother's side of the family that he knew. Red-haired, hot-headed bunch :P

4. Is he a Christian, or will he eventually find Jesus?
He's a Christian. :) He loves God very much, though I suppose his own thoughts get in the way of hearing Him sometimes... that's why Chance comes into his life.

5. Does he believe in fairies?
He doesn't spend too much time on that subject, haha, but I suppose if he saw one he wouldn't freak. He isn't fazed easy. ;)

6. Does he like hedgehogs?
Dunno. I'll have to ask him sometime. Are there hedgehogs in Britain?? If there are, then he likes them. 

7. Favorite kind of weather?
Early summer mornings or clear spring evenings. Calm, tranquil, and sunny. 

8. Does he have a good sense of humor? If so what kind? (Slapstick, wit, sarcasm, etc.?)
Rather dry, mostly. He can crack a real flat-out joke every once in awhile, but mostly he's pretty sarcastic and dry.

9. How did he do in school, or any kind of education they might have had.
Had to learn to read and write when he entered the monastery. Barely got a decent education, but he did get one, before he was kicked out..... we'll put it that way..... 

10. Any strange hobbies?
Not that I know of. I'll have to ask him ;)

Thanks for reading y'alls. ;)